[experimental society conference: lancaster]

International conference: The Experimental Society, Lancaster University, 7-9 July 2010

Experimentation, with its distinctive way of joining action and knowledge, has played a crucial role in the culture and politics of modern society, but one that has a number of contradictory strands.  In one strand, experimentation is associated with the opening up of the closed medieval universe into an open world of endless possibility.  This story would include the development of the arts as an autonomous space for free exploration, and practices of social, cultural and political experimentation that invent new ways of living.  It had perhaps its leading advocate in Friedrich Nietzsche, with his notion of life as a continuous experiment, but in the contemporary world it is also manifested in the everyday creativity (de Certeau) with which people experiment ‘casually’ with new forms of humanity, technology, space, economic exchange and political participation (Hayles, Stelarc, Soja, Ghosh, Rheingold, Lury).  

 Yet the dominant strand to the modern experiment has surely been that of experimental science, which from the 17th century offered to solve the problem of social dissensus by putting all truth claims to public test, thereby replacing the received certainties of traditional society with the new certainties of objective facts and natural laws (Shapin, Schaffer, Toulmin).  In performing the split between nature and culture that Bruno Latour calls the ‘modern constitution’, the experiment thus started its long relationship with social ordering, technology and power, which has helped to legitimise the instrumental paradigm of modern political action (Ezrahi), drive forward the grand projects of 20th century high-modernist statecraft (Scott), and shape the contemporary world of evidence-based policy, clinical trials and audits.  Critiques of this development include early warnings about the iron cage of instrumental rationality (Weber), twentieth century unease about technocracy and the scientisation of politics (the Frankfurt school) and autonomous technology (Ellul, Winner), and contemporary concern about the proliferation of states of exception in which experimental subjection and the reduction of the human to ‘bare life’ becomes the norm (Agamben).

It is time to ask whether the experiment is now too complicit with power to act as a carrier of the hopes of (post)modernity, or whether its emancipatory potential can be renewed through a sustained inquiry into the different forms that it takes in science and technology, in the arts and in wider culture. If experimentation and innovation have become too integrated with imaginaries of technological control, and thereby with consequent externalisations (Wynne and Felt), then further large questions arise not only for politics, but also for environmental sustainability.
However, any such project also needs to be sensitive to ways in which the key role played by experimentation in the ordering of society seems to be shifting away from the special to the general experiment – from the experiment as a bounded episode situated in time and space, to a generalised, performative experimentality.  Driven by pervasive informationalisation, we can observe a number of interlinked trends, including: the acceleration and proliferation of feedback loops between action and reaction; the displacement of fixed structures by networks and dissipative structures; the abandonment of fixed goals for continuous repositioning; and the carrying out of knowledge-work in the context of application.  Such trends can be observed in domains as disparate as science and innovation, network-centric digital warfare, finance capitalism, product design, software engineering, new media and popular culture.  Do these add up to a systemic transformation of how society is being ordered? Are humans no longer in control of their experimental ‘projects’, and what does this mean for our conceptualisation of the human and of politics?  Does this create the conditions in which a new kind of experimental society might be possible? How might we imagine this, and perhaps influence its form?
This three-day international conference is the culmination of Lancaster’s year-long research programme Experimentality, which in six two-day workshops and a range of arts events in the North West has been exploring the varieties and transformations of experimentation.  It will draw on the inquiries held in these events: into experimentation and eventality, into the forms of subject and object implicated in experimentation, into the experimentality of matter itself and into the social and spatial organisation of experimentation in urban life.  It will draw on recent work on experimentation as having its own logic (Hacking), as being shaped into experimental systems which produce novelty and surprise (Rheinberger), as involving pervasive everyday improvisation (Ingold), as brought to closure in different ways (Galison) and as enacted in different experimental spaces or 'truth-spots' (Gieryn).  It will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines, and practitioners from different spheres of social life, to set out and debate different diagnoses and visions of the experimental society.  It will be an interdisciplinary, collaborative exploration of the power of experimentation to shape the future. 
Questions to be pursued in the conference will include the following:
  • Is experimentality becoming a key trope of contemporary society?  Is it taking new forms, and if so with what implications? 
  • How can we learn from the differences between the modes of experimentality operating within science, the arts and wider culture?
  • How do notions of experimentality intersect with other dominant notions of social change, such as societal reflexivity, liquidity, knowing capitalism, cosmopolitanism, mobility and complexity?
  • What dangers to human freedom are posed by new, experimental forms of power?
  • If a shift is occurring in modern society's ontology, so that ‘society’ is itself becoming self-interrogating, what does this mean for the social sciences? 
  • How can the power to shape our socio-technical future be distributed more evenly in society?  Can people and publics appropriate 'the experiment' so that it operates as an engine of human freedom harnessed to the task of building a common world, rather than as a tool of power?
  • If modern society is implicated in, perhaps dependent upon, forms of uncontrolled, unintended or blind experiment, what forms of regulatory ordering might be required? 
Plenary speakers will include:
·        Ulrich Beck (London School of Economics)
·        Dieter Daniels (Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig)
·        Bülent Diken (Lancaster University)
·        Silvio Funtowicz (European Commission Joint Research Centre)
·        Josephine Green (Social Innovation, Philips Design)
·        Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen)
·        Scott Lash (Goldsmiths, University of London)
·        Helga Nowotny (European Research Council)
·        Jerome Ravetz (University of Oxford)
·        Gísli Pálsson (University of Iceland)
·        James Wilsdon (Royal Society)
For further information and to book a place please go to http://www.lancs.ac.uk/experimentality/event/international-conference-experimental-society

If you have a query please contact:
Anne-Marie Mumford
Institute for Advanced Studies
County South
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD, UK
Email: a.mumford@lancaster.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 510816
Fax: +44 (0) 1524 510857


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[digital transformation school]

The International School on Digital Transformation
July 25-30
Porto, Portugal
Extended deadline for applications: May 10

Applications are now open for the second annual International School on
Digital Transformation, to be held July 25-30, 2010, at the University of
Porto in Porto, Portugal. The School is accepting applications from advanced
students and recent graduates from around the world with an interest in
digital technology and the enrichment of civil society.

The International School on Digital Transformation is an intensive six-day
residential program, conducted in English and bringing together emerging and
established scholars and professionals from a variety of countries. During
the week, innovators in digital communications will serve as teachers and
mentors, presenting current projects and engaging in discussion. Presenters
and students will be regarded as peers during the School.

Students of the School will have the opportunity to develop and apply
research design skills to projects important to civil society. Consisting of
approximately 30 students and 15 faculty members, the School seeks to create
an atmosphere of scholarly collegiality, fostering dialogue among diverse
perspectives including those of design, policy, and research backgrounds.
The daily schedule will include time for presentations, workshop-style
collaboration, and informal brainstorming sessions among faculty and
Read more »

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[conference: foundations of information science]

Conference Date:
August 20-23, 2010
Deadline of Paper Submission:
May 20th, 2010
Notification of Acceptance:
 June 20th, 2010
Continuing the series of FIS Conferences (Madrid 1994, Vienna 1996, Paris 2005) a new venue will be held in Beijing 2010. In our times, an increasing number of disciplines are dealing with information in very different ways: from information society and information technology to communication studies (and related subjects like codes, meaning, knowledge, and intelligence), as well as quantum information, bioinformation, knowledge economy, network science, computer science and Internet, to name but a few. At the same time, an increasing number of scientists in the East and the West have been engaged with the foundational problems underlying this development, to such an extent that the integration of disciplines revolving around information seems an idea whose time has come. A new science of information can be envisaged that explores the possibilities of establishing a common ground, of constructing a new scientific perspective that connects the different information-related disciplines and provides a new framework for transdisciplinary research.


1.  The Impact of a New Science of Information on Society
2.  The Position of Intelligence Science in Information Science
       a. Information and Intelligence
       b. Intelligence Science as an Engineering Informatics in Information Science  
3.  The Role of Other Applied Information Science Disciplines (Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Information and Communication Technologies and Society, Library and Documentation Science, …)
4.  The Basis of a New Science of Information
       a.  Feasibility of a single generic concept of information
       b.  Concepts, Principles, and Methodology of a “General Informatics” or “Theoretical Informatics”
       c.   Knowledge Structure of a Unified Theory of Information 
5.   Philosophy of Information
       a.   Information Ethics
       b.   Epistemology (Information and the Scientific Method, …)  
       c.   Ontology of Information   
       d.   Information and Philosophy of Science (Information and the System of Sciences – Transdisciplinarity – Consilience, …)
6.   Science of Information in Real-World Systems
       a.  Science of Information in Physical and Chemical Systems (Quantum Information, Molecular Recognition, …)
       b.  Science of Information in Living Systems (Biosemiotics, Systems Biology, Bioinformation, …)
       c.   Science of Information in Human / Social Systems
              i.  Science of Information in Human Cognition (Mind-Brain Theory, Consciousness, …)
              ii.  Science of Information in Human Communication (Linguistics, Social Networking,Communication Studies, …)
              iii.  Science of Information in Human Cooperation (Collective Intelligence, Knowledge Management, Advanced Intelligence, …)
7.   Science of the Information Society / Age (Information Society Theory, Internet Research, Social Informatics, New Media Studies, …)

Read more about the conference here.

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[panel on reading today, #interventions]

Moderator Al Fillreis, Kenneth Goldsmith, Steve Tomasula, Stephen Osborne

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[literary in(ter)ventions]

Interesting talk by Christian Bok (of Calgary uni.) on language as a virus.

How to encode poetry on genomes of bacteria to act as secret message/literary artefact.

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[nick monfort at #interventions]

Nick Monfort at the interventions conference talking about literature at the edge. Think of edges in graph theory and how endges act as connectors.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

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[writing conference: england]

Writing Industries Conference 2010
Saturday 6th March 2010, Loughborough University
A Literature Network, Writing East Midlands
and Loughborough University project.
Twitter #wic2010


The Writing Industries Conference 2010 is now open to applications for 1-2-1 meetings with agents and editors. Writers will have the chance to present their work in fiction, creative non-fiction and spoken word. A limited number of 1-2-1s are available and only ticket holders to WIC 2010 may apply.
1-2-1 meetings are available with:

Lorella Belli, Lorella Belli Literary Agency http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.lorellabelliagency.com/
Ollie Munson, Blake Friedmann, Literary TV and Film Agency http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.blakefriedmann.co.uk/
Alan Mahar, Tindal Street Press http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.tindalstreet.co.uk/
Sarah Ellis, Apples and Snakes http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.applesandsnakes.org/
James Wills, Watson, Little Ltd http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.watsonlittle.com/
John Berlyne, Zeno Agency Ltd http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.zenoagency.com/
Jane Finigan, Lutyens & Rubinstein Literary Agency http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;www.lutyensrubinstein.co.uk
For guidelines and details on how to apply please see: http://www.facebook.com/l/88d0e;writingindustries.com/1-2-1-guidelines/

WIC 2010 will bring together writers from across the East Midlands and professionals from the writing industries to share knowledge, develop skills and forge new contacts. 200 writers from the region will have the opportunity to hear from and meet with professionals from the writing industries in a variety of settings:

• Agents and editors in one-to-one sessions with selected writers, giving advice and support in their area of expertise.

• Panel discussions exploring specific areas of writing, from breaking into commercial publishing to working in the community.

• Writing industries fair featuring stalls from local publishers, funders and other organisations involved with the writing industries.

• And of course there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and talk with other writers over a coffee.

Details of the full programme will be announced soon.


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[social media and pedagogy online seminar]

I'm signing up for this online seminar! Social media AND education?! Perfect.

And yes, those are my professional writing students; on computers, with our class blog on the main screen.

Social Media Seminar Series: Trends and Implications for Learning (Online & No Fee)


Friday, October 30, 2009: 9:00 PM Eastern USA

(World Clock Calculator: http://url.aace.org/ft/200910302100)

Faculty: George Siemens - Learning Technologies Centre, Univ. of Manitoba, Canada
David Cormier - Univ. of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Organised by: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

(http://AACE.org )
Co-sponsored by: Education & Information Technology Library (http://EdITLib.org)

The seminar series, led by George Siemens and David Cormier, is without fee and will include live interactive sessions, in addition to discussions with guest speakers and participants. All sessions are co-sponsored by and will be archived in the Education & Information Technology Library (EdITLib).

Social media and emerging technologies are gaining increased attention for use in education. The list of tools grows daily.

Examples: blogs, wikis, Ning, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, cloud computing, surface computing, mobile learning, and so on.

"Social Media: Trends and Implications for Learning" will explore the impact of new technologies, research, and related projects.

What does it all mean? Do long term trends and change cycles exist in the constant change? What patterns are emerging?

And, perhaps most importantly, should academics and education leaders respond?

"Social Media" will explore emerging technological and related research trends from a perspective of social and networked learning theory.

Finding coherence in the midst of rapid changes is increasingly difficult. This monthly session will create a forum for educators to gather, present, and discuss the future impact of today's trends.

Links for items discussed during the seminars can be found here on Delicious.


To receive event updates, signup at: http://AACE.org/GlobalU/seminars/socialmedia/
Seminar Recordings: http://EdITLib.org/GlobalU/
Seminar Community: http://www.AACEConnect.org/group/socialmedia

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[Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics]

The Large, the Small and the Human Mind
The 8th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics

Saturday, January 16, 2010, 12 – 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 17, 2010, 12 – 7 p.m.

Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne Early Register: http://www.neugalu.ch/e_bienn_2010.html#9

Roger Penrose’s hotly disputed book The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (1997) contributed to a new scientific world-view of physics and a more complete understanding of conscious minds at the boundary between the physics of the small and the physics of the large. In a similar vein, the Swiss Biennial 2010, The Large, the Small and the Human Mind, will trigger debate about the unequal status that we have attributed to the physical world “out there” and our many beliefs and mental conceptions “in us” about this world, and it explores the fingers of science, rationality, ontology, epistemology, reflexivity, ethics, ecology, and politics that point to the realities of our beliefs.

The New Gallery Lucerne organises this two-day conference which brings together a group of internationally renowned scientists, sociologists, philosophers, ecologists, writers, artists, and policy-makers. From the debate about the pursuit of a “Theory of Everything” (TOE) in physics, extreme objectivity, our relationship to the “Universe,” to “human,” “nature,” “human culture,” and the “human mind,” The Large, the Small and the Human Mind will touch on the world’s first climate war, the destructive side of globalization, and the contradictions of our striving for unlimited economic growth and consumption. “When the sage points at the Moon,” says the Chinese proverb, “the fool looks at his fingertip.” The Large, the Small and the Human Mind offers a critical look at the fingertip, and from it to the Moon. From the question of how to free Pandora’s Hope, to the meaning of Leonardo’s science for our time, and the significance of the Space Age for humanity, the Swiss Biennial will reflect on these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective with the aim to create a deeper and finer sense of possibility.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Michel Bitbol (physicist and philosopher of mind, Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique [CNRS], Paris)
Fritjof Capra (physicist and systems theorist, Berkeley)
John Horgan (science writer/author, Director of the Center for Science Writings [CSW], Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, USA)
Kevin W. Kelley (artist, author, and entrepreneur, San Rafael / USA)
Bruno Latour (sociologist, Scientific Director and Professor at Sciences Po, Paris)
Pier Luigi Luisi (Professor Emeritus ETH Zurich, Professor at the Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Roma)
Robert Poole (historian, University of Cumbria, Lancaster / UK)
Harald Welzer (social psychologist, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research, Essen)
Margaret Wertheim (science writer, curator, cultural historian of physics, Director of the Institute for Figuring, Los Angeles)

Confirmed Presenter
David McConville (artist, Director of Noospheric Research, The Elumenati, Asheville / USA)

Confirmed Chairpersons
Christina Ljungberg (University of Zurich)
Josef Mitterer (University of Klagenfurt)
Isabelle Stengers (Free University of Brusells)

Confirmed Leader of the Panel Discussions
Peter Weibel (Chairman and CEO, Center for Art and Media [ZKM], Karlsruhe)

A New Gallery Lucerne conference in association with the Swiss Museum of Transport, the City of Lucerne, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK), and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne, Coronado Hall

CHF 90.00 (CHF 65.00 concessions) – Booking required http://www.neugalu.ch/e_bienn_2010.html#9

The Large, the Small and the Human Mind continues the Swiss Biennial’s aim to involve people from all faculties, schools of thought and walks of life in a critical dialogue concerned with science, technological innovation, art, and society which they have long sought themselves but for which there has been no point of contact to date. The Swiss Biennial sees its role as that of a touchstone for such dialogues. Its interdisciplinary activities and projects are concerned with new challenges posed by widely varying fields of knowledge and research. Find the Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics on http://www.neugalu.ch

New Gallery Lucerne and The Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics
P.O. Box 3501, 6002 Lucerne / Switzerland, Tel. +41 (0) 41 370 38 18
Image credit: Jacket photograph, Earth, from Apollo 4 (November 1967) © NASA.

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[cfp: workshop on academia 2.0]

Academia 2.0 and Beyond – How Social Software Changes Research and Education in Academia

(at the
European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2009)

Workshop will take place on the 8th of September in Vienna, Austria



The Web 2.0 and Social Software is often attributed with a high potential for addressing today’s challenges in knowledge management and distributed collaboration. This development has already reached industry. Using the term Enterprise 2.0, different possibilities to use Social Software in enterprises are researched. But also in academia, cooperation to generate new knowledge, and to add it to the scientific discourse may radically change under open Web 2.0 conditions. In addition, teaching and learning scenarios might be moved towards technology enhanced lifelong learning communities. The aim of this workshop is to discuss the application of Social Software in academia (research as well as teaching and learning) – and how these new kinds of software might change the whole setting – make new ways of doing research or teaching and learning possible or at least easier to do.


New buzzwords have become part of our daily lexicon: Web 2.0, Social Software and Social Web are often used as synonyms. These concepts focus on new or existing software systems, which are influenced by human communication and collaboration (Jahnke & Koch 2009). Thus, Web 2.0 is heavily reliant on social interaction, and so, social web-based applications generate and require a human-centered design approach. Furthermore, this kind of new media influences the people. A new generation of the “digital natives” are arriving (Prensky, 2001). The number of users of Web 2.0 applications in private settings (e.g., leisure) is very high. However, in organizations and enterprises Web 2.0 concepts or such combined applications are still at an early stage (Koch & Richter 2008). The same is true for universities. Franklin & van Harmelen (2007) show some examples of institutional practices. A potential of Web 2.0 for academia show also Rollet et al. (2007). To conclude, there are some Web 2.0 tools in universities, in particular wikis and blogs (e.g., Hookway, 2008) but the usage of these tools and other Web 2.0 scenarios for supporting teaching, learning or research is not yet fully developed. So, the question how the Web 2.0 can support community-based learning (e.g. Barr & Tagg, 1995) or research processes in academia is not yet satisfactorily answered.

Research questions

The main research question of the workshop is: Are there any innovative research and/or teaching designs or arrangements (e.g., Alexander, 2006; Downes, 2005) using social software and what can we learn from these scenarios? Some derived research questions which we will discuss in our workshop:

  • a) What Web 2.0 applications exist in universities, in research or in learning? Do Web 2.0 applications in academia make a difference to existing Internet applications like email, content management systems or newsgroups?
  • b) Do you have success stories or success criteria of Web 2.0 usage in academic fields? What changes are observable or essential when introducing Web 2.0 concepts in teaching (e.g. new design/balance of teaching and learning) or research settings?
  • c) How can we introduce Web 2.0 applications in the academic world, and support the change management process? How can we successfully distribute the concepts into a university?


Our aim is to collect proposals for academic practice with Web 2.0, to specify research questions dealing with Web 2.0 in academia (e.g., new forms of interactions, changing research practice, new learning scenarios, organizational change by using new media) or to discuss new research methods (e.g., e-ethnography) and their challenges in this topic. In our workshop, we want to share practical experience or research results about using Web 2.0 in teaching and research, for example, e-learning goes Web 2.0, scientific communities goes Web 2.0, research publications goes Web 2.0 or university goes Web 2.0. Therefore, we strongly invite researchers and practitioners who have ideas or experience of using Web 2.0 applications in academia.

Participation Requirements

Workshop participants are requested to submit a position paper covering practice with Web 2.0 in academia, research focus or research questions, proposals for academic practice with Web 2.0, proposals for new research methods with regard to Web 2.0 in academia or specific case studies (if applicable) and findings to date. Using practical examples the participants should demonstrate how the concepts and developments behind the Web 2.0 and Social Software movement are used in academia, what Web 2.0 characteristics could make a good basis for academia.

Deadline for position papers: June 29, 2009 (new deadline)

There is no size limit or formatting requirement for position papers.

Please send position papers as PDF or document files to the two organizers:

Position papers will be presented and discussed during the workshop.

Read more here and here.

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[social networking conference: wolverhampton uni]

Wolverhampton Internet and Technology Society (WITS) together with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group are hosting the 1st Social Networking in Cyberspace conference in April, 2010. We welcome contributions from scholars in the social and behavioural sciences and media and information disciplines, regardless of theoretical orientation.

The conference, which is to be sponsored by the Research Centre in Applied Sciences (RCAS), will be a one-day event and will take place on Friday the 23rd of April, 2010. The Venue for the conference will be the Lighthouse Media Centre in Wolverhampton (Please click here for Map).

Call for papers

We invite potential presenters to submit an abstract (no longer than 300 words) for peer-review. The deadline for submission of the abstract is October 30th, 2009. A decision on this abstract will be made by November 20th, 2009 and authors will be notified via email soon after.

Abstracts should be submitted to SNIC@wlv.ac.uk

Subsequently, all presenters will be invited to prepare a paper for publication. The International Journal of Internet Science will be publishing a peer-reviewed selection of the best papers from the conference.

Papers should be submitted to SNIC@wlv.ac.uk by the 28th of May 2010.

Postgraduate poster competition

We will be running a postgraduate poster competition on the day of the conference. Prizes will be awarded for the best posters on the day (further information to follow). We invite postgraduate students to submit an abstract by October 30th 2009 for consideration.

Keynote Speakers

The following have been confirmed as keynote speakers at the conference:

Professor Mike Thelwall: University of Wolverhampton – “Detecting and analysing emotion in social networking sites”

Doctor Monica Whitty: Nottingham Trent University.


£80 standard rate

Discount rate for presenters (£60)

Discount rate for students (£50)

The fee includes morning and afternoon coffee and lunch.


Conference registration opens in January 2010

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline: 30th October 2009

Notice of acceptance deadline: 20th November 2009

Conference date: 23rd April 2010

Full papers deadline: 28th May 2010

contact us

If you have any enquiries or would like to contact us regarding the suitability of your research for the conference, please email us on SNIC@wlv.ac.uk

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